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3 Weeks Post-Op Tummy Tuck and I Have Gained 5lbs - Is This Normal?

I also I am curious as to when I will be able to fit into my regular pants? I was a size 10 pre-op and am wondering when I could wear them again. I don't want to have to buy a biggers size pants.

Doctor Answers (11)

Reasons for weight gain after cosmetic surgery (tummy tuck)


IT is very common to gain weight in the early post-operative period due to fluid retention associated with third spacing especially if liposuction is performed.  In rare instances diuretics are required. Make sure that you do not have a seroma or are wearing your compression garment improperly which can contribute to increased abdominal girth. It amy take 3-9 months for the selling to completely resolve.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Weight gain after surgery


It is not uncommon for patients to gain a little weight just after surgery.  This may be due to fluid retention, inactivity, and possible increased food intake. As you get back into your routine more than likely the weight will come off.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Weight gain after a Tummy Tuck


It is very common to gain weight after any surgery because of the changes in your body associated with the process of surgery itself.  Add to that a comprehensive procedure such as a tummy tuck and liposuction and you can develop even more swelling. 

But, rest assured, this swelling should subside over the next few weeks as your body returns to normal and you lose this extra water weight.  The best treatment for this is time!

I hope that helps!

Gregory A. Buford, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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Bigger AFTER Tummy Tuck?!?


Something many Plastic Surgeons overlook in the discussion of post-operative care after a tummy-tuck is the impact swelling and fluid retention will play on a patient's size.

It is very VERY common to not be able to wear the same size pants you did PRIOR to surgery for several weeks after a tummy tuck.

You get several liters of IV fluid during your surgery that your body will retain post-operatively due to inflammation and its resultant swelling. As your body heals, it will let go of that fluid, your swelling will subside, and you will start to approach your final size. 

Being sedentary after surgery due to pain, and not being allowed to exercise due to your muscle tightening doesn't help either...

William A. Wallace, MD, FACS
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Weight gain after tummy tuck


In addition to the post operative swelling which you have, you are less active and use fewer calories than normal. When you get more active you will likely shed weight. Many of my patients go beyond that for one reason or another. Part of it may be due to a tighter stomach which makes it harder to eat a large meal.

Victor Au, MD
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Swelling after a TT lasts longer than you think


I have both had a TT and done many of them.  I assure you that what you are experiencing is completely normal.  It will be several more weeks before you fit into those pre-op jeans.  I would estimate that it was six months before I considered all of my swelling gone.  The extra weight is the water your body is holding onto (the swelling).  Just be patient.  Your body is healing as it should.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Weight gain after tummy tuck


Many patients will gain weight after a tummy tuck, particularly if liposuction was done as well.  Give it some time and it will likely improve.

Samer W. Cabbabe, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Tummy tuck


T=Your body  will begin to get rid of the excess fluids soon.  The size of your pants may not change, depending on how much your waist size was reduced.

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Short term weight gain is common after tummy tuck due to fluid retention.


A tummy tuck is a significant operation that is associated with post-op cortisol production and with it retention of body fluid.  It may take several weeks for the body to get rid of this fluid which will make the patient tip the scales at a higher weight in the mean time.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Weight gain and swelling after tummy tuck can be normal.


After a tummy tuck it is very common to have people concerned about "fullness" of their abdomen and complaints of their pants being snug.  Surgery itself can cause swelling of the tissues and a tummy tuck in particular can cause abdominal tissues to swell for the following reason.  Normally the lymphatic fluid in the tissues of your abdomen partially drains to your groin.  The incision of the tummy tuck divides the normal lymphatic connections and the fluid builds up in the tissues above the incision.  As the tissues heal new lymphatic connects are established and the swelling gradually subsides.  This will take about 3 - 6 months to reach final results.  So be patient and recheck with your surgeon if you have any questions.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.